Not only is your smile affected by missing teeth, your self-confidence and self-esteem may be lowered as well. Dentures can restore your smile, your self-confidence and your self-esteem. When they are secured by implants, your dentures will provide you with the confidence you need to fully enjoy all aspects of your life. You will be able to eat, speak, laugh and smile without worry.
Missing Teeth Impact Your Life in Various Ways
Missing teeth can mar your appearance and prevent you from fully enjoying life and those around you. You may become self-conscious about the way you look and begin to make adjustments so your less-than-appealing smile does not show. In trying to hide the gaps caused by missing teeth, you may change the way you speak, smile infrequently and avoid social situations.
Besides the psychological factors involved, there are also the more serious physical effects that can affect your oral and general health. Jaw function can be affected by missing teeth. This can create malocclusion. Missing teeth also affect your eating habits and the foods you eat. Changes in diet can impact your nutritional uptake and thus have repercussions on your overall health.
In fact, missing teeth can cause problems that can lead to more serious health issues. Researchers have discovered that edentulous individuals – people with no teeth – have a tendency to have chronic kidney disease (CKD). According to the National Kidney Foundation, one out of nine adults in the U.S. have CKD. Of those, individuals without teeth are more likely to have it than those with teeth. Bone health and blood pressure are affected by CKD, and it can ultimately lead to heart disease or kidney failure.
According to statistics, adult between the ages of 20 to 64 have about 24-25 teeth. This means about 8 teeth are lost by the time a person becomes a senior citizen. On average, by the time a person reaches 65 years of age, they have about 18 teeth left.
Missing teeth can affect your oral health in several ways. Over time, if they are not replaced, the remaining teeth may shift and move as they compensate to fill the space that is left. This can lead to the formation of food traps that provide opportunities for harmful bacteria to proliferate, causing gum disease and/or tooth decay. As adjacent teeth move out of position, other teeth may follow, changing the occlusion.
The roots of your teeth stimulate the bone and keep it healthy. When there is tooth loss, the bone begins to resorb after a while. This process can affect your appearance. If there are many teeth missing, your facial muscles lose the support needed to fill out your face. Consequently, you may begin to look older than your age as the cheeks and/or lips appear collapsed due to lack of support.
Filling in the Gaps with Dentures
When several teeth are missing, a partial denture can be used to replace them. Full dentures are used to replace a full arch of missing teeth. Partial dentures often have a metal frame for strength and durability. They need to be anchored and this is done with metal clasps that are held in place with adjacent natural teeth.
If there are few teeth left with no suitable teeth on which to fix a clasp, the dentist may advise you to get a full denture, which would mean the removal of the remaining few teeth. The full denture would then be made to replace a full arch of missing teeth.
Traditional full dentures are made from an acrylic resin. A mold is made of the gums and the dentures are constructed to exactly fit the geography of the arch. Once the denture is made, it is placed in the mouth and adjustments usually need to be made to ensure that it fits well with no sore spots. Generally, sore spots may develop during the first few weeks of use and the dentist will make adjustments as needed.
There are advantages and disadvantages with traditional dentures. They are removable; however, they need more upkeep than implant supported dentures. As the years go by, traditional dentures will need to be relined since the bone and gums will change. Since there is no bone stimulation, the bone will shrink, as will the gums.
This shrinkage will affect the dentures in that they will not fit as well. Adhesive powders or creams will be needed to help them stay in place. As they become looser in the mouth, speech may be affected and there will be the possibility that they may dislodge while you are eating, speaking, coughing, sneezing or laughing. Some individuals have had the embarrassment of their dentures falling out at times. Implant supported dentures do not have these disadvantages.
Advantages of Implant Supported Dentures
Although dentures that are supported by implants are significantly more expensive than traditional dentures, the advantages justify the cost. The implants placed in the bone to secure the dentures stimulate the bone structure at those points, so the bone remains healthy and does not have the shrinkage that is experienced by those who wear traditional dentures.
Because the dentures are attached to the dental implants, they will not fall out, nor will they become dislodged. You will have the security of knowing that anything you may do, laughing, eating, speaking, singing, coughing or sneezing, your dentures will remain solidly in your mouth without moving. This is particularly important for individuals who are often in the public eye.
Food debris can be lodged underneath traditional dentures, making it painful to eat and embarrassing if you have to excuse yourself to rinse them off. Small bits like the seeds from raspberries can be painful if caught under the dentures. Implant supported dentures do not have these issues.
You can eat any type of food without worry. Berry seeds will not interfere with your eating. Implant supported dentures allow you to eat sticky foods without being concerned about your dentures coming loose. Corn on the cob and apples straight from the tree can be enjoyed without care.
In addition to food freedom with implant supported dentures, you also have the advantage of having a natural-looking smile restored. The dentures will not shift out of place, so you will not have any unexpected embarrassing moments.
Implant supported dentures are an investment that improves the quality of your life. The problems or issues you faced when you had missing teeth can be resolved with the security and stability of this type of denture. You will have renewed confidence in a smile that is beautiful, stable and secure.
The spaces left by missing teeth can cause a variety of problems and traditional dentures, although a decent replacement alternative, do not have the advantages of implant supported dentures. If you are missing teeth, consider the benefits of implant supported dentures. Your life can be changed by investing in a new smile with dentures that provide all that you need for long-term comfort, pleasing appearance and oral as well as general health.
Your smiles will be happy and healthy when you choose implant supported dentures. For more information, schedule a consultation appointment with one of the dentists at Aesthetic & Implant Dentistry of Atlanta.